No better way to fight a hangover than with the hair of the dog that bit you. So I started Saturday, June 21st by going to the annual Bourbon Bash DC.
Eight bars, eight Bourbons. All starting at noon. Challenge accepted. As a big bourbon fan, this was an ideal opportunity.
- Basil Hayden’s
A unique, singular bourbon still made in small batches from small grain, just like it has been since 1796. Light bodied, opting for finesse rather than brute strength on the palate. Blessed with rich hints of peppermint, pepper, citrus overtones, and a spicy, warming finish. Golden amber in color. A study in subtlety, making it a perfect choice for a session whiskey.
- Jim Beam Black 8 Year
Double-aged bourbon spends 8 years in new charred, white oak barrels. The extra years of aging that give Jim Beam Black® its full bodied flavor and deep golden color. smooth caramel and warm oak notes. The nose is delicious: sweet caramel, with traces of walnut, brown sugar and charred oak. As it sits on the tongue nutty flavors develop and round to a smooth finish.
- Jim Beam Single Barrel
Carefully select by Master Distillers to ensure the highest quality and craft. No two barrels are the same, and each is individually bottled, labeled and hand-numbered so that its heritage is unquestionable. Full-bodied and smooth with attributes of oak, vanilla and caramel.
- Knob Creek
Aged 9 years and 100 proof, this distinctively dark, deep amber bourbon takes over your palate with big notes of oak, caramel and fruit. Then enjoy expansive notes of maple sugar, toasted nuts and oak. Long and smooth finish, with more kick than most. “This is bourbon the way it used to be. The way it was meant to be.” Booker Noe “
- Makers Mark
Born from limestone-purified spring water from a spring-fed lake right at the distillery, with a foundation of red winter wheat rather than traditional rye. Along with naturally malted barley and yellow corn, resulting in a double distillation within a copper pot still. Aged in charred white oak barrels resulting in rich fruit mixed and a hint of spice aroma on the nose, followed by a well-rounded palate of spice, vanilla and oak.
- Old Grand-Dad
Named by his grandson for distiller Basil Hayden, this bourbon is specifically formulated with a higher percentage of rye for a lighter, spicier flavor. This spirit is forward and heady with flavors of oak, pears, apricots and dark caramel. There is some sweet corn and spicy rye up front, yielding to a long finish of orange peels, cinnamon and maple syrup.
- Jim Beam Devil’s Cut
The Devil’s Cut is the amount of whiskey absorbed by the wood and usually lost/not recovered. The distillers at Beam thought otherwise, and you’re rewarded with a distinctly bold bourbon whose rich flavors are unleashed from deep inside the barrel wood. It boasts a potent, full-bodied taste with intense oak and vanilla notes. The finish is long and smooth, with a hint of sweetness.
- Jim Beam Honey
Jim Beam’s classic Kentucky straight bourbon infused with real golden honey and liqueur. The result is smooth with complex notes of caramel, oak and vanilla. There is a floral nose up front, while the palate offers caramel and toffee along with honey. As you’d expect, honey lingers richly in the soft, smooth finish. Especially good on the rocks.
- RFD Washington (start and check-in point)
- Rocket Bar
- Penn Social DC
- Iron Horse
- Hill Country Backyard
- Austin Grill
- Fado Irish Pub
- Irish Channel
Early on some of the bars were a bit quiet (not a surprise, the smart hungover people were probably sleeping in before they started drinking heavily again) but an hour or so in, the bars started filling up with friendly fellow bar-crawlers ready to taste some bourbon, and have a good time.
At each bar patrons had their ticket hole-punched and were given a (rather generous) sample of that bar’s respective bourbon. We’re talking a good size drink. Including a glass of my favorite, Maker’s Mark. With soccer matches on at almost every location, and the occasional band, bourbon fans talked, mingled, and got their buzz on while rooting on far away nations in their quest for the World Cup. Typical DC bar crawls can get really hectic and disorganized. I can honestly say that this one was the exception. It was managed properly and run very efficiently and smoothly.
Perfect weather, great people, sports, and bourbon. What more could a girl ask for on a summer Saturday in DC?
Great event, will definitely be attending next year for the 3rd annual DC Bourbon Bash! Keep tabs on them by following BourbonBash on Twitter!
Gotta love summer in DC 🙂